Start Curly

One minor thing I’d like to address is that every hair styling tip I read about in magazines instructs you to blow-dry curly hair straight first. The tousled look, for example, involves blow-drying your hair in all different directions, then curling the ends, and texturizing it with pomade. Straighten my curly hair only to curl it again? Wha…? What these articles do is convince us to buy a ton of pricey products that aren’t all that great for our hair, make our ‘do’s high-maintenance, and promise shiny frizz-free results that we all know just aren’t going to happen. Especially as the warm and humid spring and summer months approach.

Back-combing can be done with a small black comb to create height near the roots of hair. Do not comb your hair to the ends with this!

My theory is work with what you’ve got: You have curly hair and you want it tousled? Fine, tousle it. Tousle ’til your heart’s content! I picked up a new trick over the weekend that I love. I’ve already recommended using a wide-tooth comb if you absolutely need to comb your hair while it’s wet in the shower, but I was recently given an olive-oil infused wide-tooth comb that I LOVE. I haven’t combed or brushed my hair (except when straight) in almost a decade, so this is kind of a big deal. I already knew you could use a small comb (like the flimsy black ones they gave you before school pictures) to add body at the roots of your hair. It works like back-combing, you brush against the direction of the hair at the very roots and get some upward movement.

Olive oil comb--great for combing through shorter layers to loosen curls and create a more "tousled" look.

The olive-oil comb, however, is so silky-smooth and non-invasive that I find I can use it with my shorter layers, like bangs, and also use it to back-comb for body on the crown of my head. It loosens up my curls, making them look a bit more fun and frisky instead of orderly and controlled. If you want to add texture try spritzing with some spray gel or the Coldstone Apothecary salt-water spray I mention on the products page once you’ve achieved your desired look.

If you do choose to gently comb through your hair to the ends with the wide-tooth comb, wrap unruly curls around your finger to eliminate frizz.

Also, once you’re done combing and before you use product, try finger-curling the rowdier pieces to make the hair come together in harmony again instead of being too frizzy. The amount of combing you do depends completely on how much of a statement you want to make, and over time you may find yourself doing it more and more. It’s also a great way to add height to hair that has dried somewhat flat on top.